I was conducting a “train the trainer” session with a large consulting firm when one of the attendees posed the following question: “We love the idea of encouraging our executives to get more social and to comment on posts. But believe it or not, they don’t know what to say.”
Crazy, right? Executives — people who have a tremendous amount of knowledge to share, and have presumably become accustomed to public speaking — don’t know what to say in a social media comment.
Still, it was obviously an issue, so in addition to finding this post about blog comments (most apply to social too), we set about creating some Mad Libs inspired leads that they could have handy.
- “Great read, [@name], especially the part about ______”
- “We’re seeing the same thing, [@name]. But ultimately, ______”
- “Such an important topic, [@name], it drives me crazy when _______”
- “You should check out ______”
- “Have you looked into ______?” (or) “Do you know _____?”
- “Congratulations [@name] and thank you for all you do in this space.”
- “Not sure I agree. For example, the article said [this] but we’re finding [that]”
- “Excellent points, [@name], have you considered ____?”
That led to a conversation about the return on time for all social media activity. Obviously, the notion of adding a LinkedIn commenting blitz to an executive’s busy schedule is going to raise the inevitable, “what’s the ROI?”
What the executive really means, of course, is “what’s in it for me?” And that’s a perfectly good question, to which I have a perfectly good answer:
What’s the ROI of a 15-minute networking conversation?
Think about it: if you spent 15 minutes conversing with a handful of people on social media, what would you gain? How different would that be than having a 15 minute one-on-one with someone in your space?
I argue it’s actually more valuable. For one thing, the shelf-life of your comments is far longer than the words that came out of your mouth in the one-on-one chat.
More importantly, social conversations strengthen relationships on your own posts and increase your visibility among other people’s audiences (OPAs). When users engage with you in conversation on social, they send signals back to the social networks about how relevant you are to them. Social networks use those signals to consider you more trustworthy and knowledgeable on certain topics. That leads to more discoverability of you and your content (which has a halo effect on your brand, but also gives one a nice ego boost).
Bottom line, executives: do it. Get social. It’s worth your time.